Chris Cuomo Says He Urged Andrew Cuomo To Resign After Harassment Scandal

CNN anchor Chris Cuomo addressed the sexual harassment allegations made against his brother, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, for the first time on Monday night as he revealed that he urged him to resign.

Earlier in August, New York Attorney General Letitia James announced that an investigation found that Andrew Cuomo violated several federal and state laws and created a hostile work environment by allegedly sexually harassing 11 current and former employees.

Although he has denied the claims, a few days after the report was published the governor announced that he would be resigning from his position, explaining that his continued employment and the allegations were serving as "distractions" while the "government needs to perform."

Chris Cuomo did not mention the allegations against his brother during his CNN show Cuomo Prime Time following James' report on August 7, before then going on holiday for a week in the days that followed.

However, following his return to CNN on Monday night, the host addressed his brother's resignation on air for the first time, explaining at the end of his show that "I never covered my brother's troubles because I obviously have conflict, and there are rules at CNN about that."

Chris Cuomo then referenced his brother's criticized appearances on his show in 2020 to discuss New York's handling of the COVID pandemic, saying: "I said last year that his appearances on this show would be short-lived, and they were.

"The last was over a year ago, long before any kind of scandal. I also said back then that a day would come when he would have to be held to account and I can't do that. I said point-blank, I can't be objective when it comes to my family, so I never reported on the scandal and when it happened, I tried to be there for my brother."

The CNN anchor then revealed that he advised his Andrew Cuomo to resign amid the allegations, saying: "I did urge my brother to resign when the time came," adding that it "was something I never imagined having to do."

The Washington Post reported earlier in the year that Chris Cuomo joined a conference call with his brother and aides to urge him to not step down when the initial sexual harassment claims were made public in February.

In a statement shared with Newsweek in May, CNN confirmed that while Chris Cuomo did not cover the allegations his brother faced, he did participate in strategy calls with the governor's staff about how to respond to the claims of sexual misconduct.

This was confirmed by James' report earlier in the month, as Chris Cuomo was also named in the investigation, with it revealing that he helped draft a response to the initial allegations of sexual harassment against his brother on February 28.

Responding to the criticism he has faced in the past few weeks for his alleged actions in regards to his brother, including calls for him to resign, Chris Cuomo told his audience on Monday: "I never misled anyone about the information I was delivering or not delivering on this program.

"I never attacked nor encouraged anyone to attack any woman who came forward. I never made calls to the press about my brother's situation. I never influenced or attempted to control CNN's coverage of my family."

He added: "Back in May when I was told to no longer communicate with my brother's aides in any group meetings, I acknowledged it was a mistake, I apologized to my colleagues, I stopped, and I meant it.

"It was a unique situation being a brother to a politician in a scandal and being part of the media. I tried to do the right thing, and I just want you all to know that."

Despite his resignation, which will be in effect from August 24, Andrew Cuomo has continued to deny the allegations, saying during his press conference earlier in August that the claims he sexually harassed 11 women are "false."

Newsweek has contacted CNN for comment.

Chris Cuomo and Andrew Cuomo
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and Chris Cuomo attend the HBO Documentary Film "RX: Early Detection A Cancer Journey With Sandra Lee" during The Tribeca Film Festival at SVA Theater on April 26, 2018 in New York City. Getty Images for HBO/Kevin Mazur